Psalm 9 can be divided into six parts:
First comes the promise of David to praise the Lord (vss. 1-2).
Second, the reason for his praise is rooted deeply in his experiences with God (vss. 3 – 6).
Third, these experiences cause him to make certain deductions about God – specifically, that God is a God of justice (vss. 7 – 10).
Fourth, there is a call for everyone to praise God (vss. 11 – 12).
Fifth, David now turns to ask God for specific help, knowing, because God is a just God, that his help is without a doubt available to him (vss. 13 – 18).
Finally, David does more than request God’s help: He demands God act. The writer feels he has every right to make this demand (it will not be the only time this occurs in the Psalms). It is based on the nature of God and David does not feel God can be consistent with his “just” nature and fail to act.
Two points stand out to me.
First, in order to make such a prayer myself, I need to not only believe God is active in my life, but I need to see His actions, take specific note of them, and remember them. The key to a growing and maturing faith is seeing God in action.
Second, David had no hesitancy in making demands of God. David knew, of course, that he could not enforce those demands. But demands are a natural outflow of desperation, a situation all of us will find ourselves in sooner or later. It’s comforting to know that when we do find ourselves in difficult straits, that we can speak to God pointedly, directly, and urgently.
Interestingly, there is no hint of a reply in this psalm. And sometimes, there appears to be no reply to our own prayers. What we can always know is what the Psalmist so confidently affirms: that God is just, and that He will act.